This 1935 pamphlet was first published by the then Workers Socialist Party of the United States (which later became the World Socialist Party). It outlines the political position of the WSPUS and while it does not discuss everything it is re-submitted to the working class for their approval. It, of course, may well be worded differently to apply to today’s circumstances.
THE AIM OF THE WORKER’S SOCIALIST PARTY
The Worker’s Socialist Party Of The United States is organized for the purpose of obtaining Socialism, the common ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production in the interest of the whole community. The following is a statement on which this objective is based.
All economic wealth is the result of the application of human energy to the materials provided by nature. Neither mystical power nor biological difference endows a favored few with title to and control of the sources of wealth.
In the course of history various social system have arisen based on privilege. In modern times this form of privilege is the private ownership of the means of production by one class, the capitalists. As a result, society is split into two main classes: capitalists and wage-workers.
The wealth on which all live is produced by workers who obtain a living by selling their bodily and mental energies to the capitalists. Any one whose principal means of living is secured by selling his energies to an employer is a member of the working class, whether he is a professor, dishwasher, engineer or a day laborer.
In selling their energies to the capitalists, the workers do so for a wage or salary which enables them to live according to the standard prevailing in their particular industry or profession.
The result of the social labor of the working class is the production of a quantity of wealth far greater than that which is represented by their wages and salaries. Out of this surplus wealth produced by them, the capitalist class lives. This surplus wealth takes the form of rent, interest or profit.
CLASH OF INTERESTS
The workers try to sell their labor power for as high a price as they can get. The capitalist class tries to buy the workers’ labor power for as low a price as possible. Thus the two classes, capitalists and workers, face each other with interests that are diametrically opposed. The basis of this antagonism is the private ownership of the capitalists of the means of production.
The wealth produced today is not distributed according to the needs of each member of the community. It is sold for the purpose of making a profit for the capitalists. In their effort to sell commodities produced by the workers, capitalists compete with each other on the world market. This competition often leads to war.
Workers are hired by the capitalist for the purpose of selling the product of their labor at a profit. The lower the wages the capitalist pays them and the more work he gets from them are important factors in making this profit. The army of unemployed is utilized by the capitalists, individually or collectively, to keep wages at the subsistence level. Between 20 and 30 million workers are unemployed in the capitalist world today. As more countries become industrialized, as industrial technique improves and more commodities can be produced by fewer workers, unemployment assumes larger proportions in capitalist society, especially during a depression. A certain amount of unemployment is essential to permit the continuous operation of capitalist industry, for then workers are always available to the employer whenever he needs them. In fact, unemployment is a normal condition of capitalism.
The steadily growing army of unemployed tends to make conditions worse for the working class by causing greater competition for jobs which usually results in lower wages and, consequently, a lower standard of living. This condition gives rise to the fine schemes of social reformers.
REFORMS NO SOLUTION
Reforms fail to solve the workers’ problems. They may ease some of the burden of a section of the working class for a short time. But in spite of a hundred years or so of reforms, the condition of the working class as a class remains one of poverty and insecurity. Regardless of the intentions of social reformers, their activity is in reality opposed to the interests of the working class. The sponsor measures which aid in the continuation of capitalism and divert the workers’ attention from the real cause of their problems. Reforms and reformers do not touch the cause.
SOCIALISM THE ONLY SOLUTION
The basic social problems, such as poverty, insecurity and unemployment arise from private ownership of the means of wealth production. From this it follows that the only solution is the conversion of the means of production from private or class ownership into their common ownership by the whole community. This is true for the entire capitalist world today.
Naturally, the capitalist class dislikes anything that interferes with the orderly processes of production and the flow of profits. To insure the smooth running of capitalism, workers must be allowed to express themselves, “to let off steam”. Discontent that is suppressed too much is likely to explode in riots and disorder, the expense of which is usually a charge against profits.
Because of this and other factors, workers, men and women, now have the franchise. This gives them at election time the privilege of voting for officials and representatives in municipal, state or Federal elections. As the working class constitutes the majority of the electorate in the United States and in other highly developed capitalist countries, they could carry elections in their own interest.
At the present time they only express discontent at elections and remove from office those in power and replace them with individuals, (supports of capitalism) who they think will serve their interests or “who will do something for them now”.
Congress is the center of political power in this country and whoever controls it has control of the armed forces of the nation (army, navy, police, and so forth) and can use them to enforce its will. In the modern political state the capitalist class rules directly through universal franchise, which means that they must get the active or tacit support of the majority.
It should be clear, that up to the present the workers vote into office their employers, or their employers’ representatives, whether they vote for nominees of the Republican, Democrat, Fusion and “Progressive” Parties. Capitalism will last for a long time unless the workers cease to give the capitalist class the control of the powers of government.
Other political parties which seek the support of the working class on social reform measures, which can only deal with the effects of the capitalist system, also should not be supported by the workers.
THE WORKERS POWER
Workers are in a position to abolish the capitalist system only when they understand and desire to do so. Until they understand their class position and what Socialism means they cannot bring about the change.
When the workers understand their position in capitalist society they will organize into a political party to get control of the political machinery so that they can abolish capitalism and introduce Socialism.
For the aforementioned reasons the Workers Socialist Party Of The United States was formed. It has held, since its formation, consistently to its purpose because it is convinced that there is no other way to achieve Socialism.
If you think the above statements of our position is in accord with the fact, then why not join our ranks – for Socialism?